TAC Cup Review – Finals Week 1

By
Updated: September 6, 2015
Rhys Mathieson celebrates a goal in Geelong Falcons' TAC Cup qualifying final loss to North Ballarat Rebels. Picture: ARJ GIESE
Rhys Mathieson celebrates a goal in Geelong Falcons' TAC Cup qualifying final loss to North Ballarat Rebels. Picture: ARJ GIESE

Rhys Mathieson celebrates a goal in Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup qualifying final loss to North Ballarat Rebels. Picture: ARJ GIESE

A FINAL quarter fadeout has cost the Geelong Falcons a direct passage to a TAC Cup preliminary final after they suffered a 12-point loss to North Ballarat in today’s qualifying final at Carlton’s Princes Park.

The Falcons looked on track to earn a week off after an explosive opening term where they kicked seven goals to race to a five-goal lead over the Rebels.

They maintained that advantage at half-time and held onto a two-goal advantage at three-quarter time but were overrun by the Rebels in the final term to go down 16.15 (111) to 15.9 (99).

Spearhead Brett Blair booted five goals in one of his best games for the Falcons and Charlie Curnow continued his outstanding late season form with four goals.

Harrison Kol chipped in with three and Rhys Mathieson two in what turned out to be a high-quality final between the two neighbouring sides.

Falcons coach Andy Allthorpe lamented his side’s inability to control the game in the last quarter after the Rebels charged back at them with a seven-goal third term.

“They just kept coming at us all day with plenty of belief and our third quarter, we just lost our way,” Allthorpe said.

“We lost about six stoppages in a row and we gave them a real chance to get back into the game and it just became a bit of a shoot out.

“That didn’t really suit the way we wanted to play the game; we couldn’t slow it down and control it and, when we did control it, we couldn’t maintain possession. We kept kicking to contests and gave them a chance to rebound.

“We went away from the way we’ve played for the last month in the last quarter. When we were under a bit of pressure we kicked long rather than have the composure to find a short (option) – and to want to work and set up that short option.

“We got safe at the end and tried to kick the ball long.”

Darcy Parish and Harry Kershaw were prominent in in the midfield and capitalised on Zach Zdybel’s work in the ruck while Tom Doedee slotted comfortably back in defence.

The Falcons will now meet the winner of the elimination final between Eastern Ranges and Calder Cannons in a knockout semi-final next Sunday.

Allthorpe said big man Lochie Donne, who missed today with concussion, is set to return to bolster their line-up.

“We know our best is as good as anyone,” Allthorpe said. “It’s just about maintaining that throughout the game – you can’t expect to win a game on two and a bit quarters of footy, especially a final against quality opposition.

“As devastated as the boys are about today’s loss, we’ve got to regroup and go again. We know our best is good enough and we’ve just got stick to the way we want to play and not let the opposition dictate the game.”

Twitter: @GreenBradley



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